Tuesday, February 26, 2019

New Developments in the UNC System Student ID Crisis

Rep. Russell
NC House members Ray Russell (Dist. 93) and Zack Hawkins (Dist. 31) have introduced a bill to extend the deadline for colleges to certify the process of producing acceptable student IDs, from March 15 to September 15 (House Bill 167). The duo (perhaps with others in the House) are scheduled to hold a press conference today, and we hear that Republican Rep. David Lewis, the powerful Rules Committee Chair and the king of the gerrymander, is supporting the bill. That's significant, if true.

If there's bipartisan support in the NC House for fixing the crisis in allowing university student IDs for purposes of voting, then maybe there's hope. But what about Phil Berger and the Republican Senate?

Meanwhile, Thomas Shanahan, the top lawyer for the UNC Board of Governors and the man who pretty much precipitated this crisis, has remained silent though he had supposedly promised a press conference early this week to declare why student IDs weren't acceptable. If he were very smart, about now he might want to say something like this :

"I'm so glad that legislators in the North Carolina House have introduced a bill to give our universities time to iron out any difficulties in certifying the process by which students are given photo IDs. We have solid expectations that the bill will pass both houses of the General Assembly, which would be the best thing for protecting the voting rights of all our citizens, especially with the March 15 deadline fast approaching, a deadline that could disenfranchise so many of our students."

The press conference will be today at 1 pm in the Legislative Building press conference room. You can listen to the press conference at by clicking on the link: https://www.ncleg.gov/.
Click on audio, then press conference room.

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